A CCNE-accredited Master in Science (MSN) with three pathways to nursing leadership.
- No GRE required to apply
- Pick from 3 specializations
- Flexible start dates — six options each year
- No BSN needed for admission
- Nursing positions are projected to grow 40% through 2031 — much faster than the average of all occupations1
A current RN license is required to apply to the MSN program.
Rankings and Accolades
- Ranked among the best online graduate nursing programs in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
- No. 14 Best Value Online MSN Program by Value Colleges.
What Makes Us Unique?
Nursing expertise at every level. Sacred Heart University is known for its excellence in nursing education. With programs at all levels of study, from BSN to DNP, SHU has the resources, expertise, and pathways that can propel you to continued career advancement and long-term success.
The Human Journey. SHU believes in a whole-person approach to patient treatment and nurse leadership. You’ll explore what it means to be a human being through literature, philosophy, religion, sociology, and more.
Learn More Today
Complete the form to learn more about this program.
Your Pace. Your Specialization. Your MSN to Educate, Manage, Lead.
Pursuing accelerated MSN programs online can seem overwhelming, but this Sacred Heart University RN to MSN program offers a customizable experience for working nurses. You can instruct and serve students to support the next generation of nurses as an educator, aspire to become a CNO to manage nursing staff and improve patient outcomes, or lead a team to direct patient care. Whatever your goal, SHU has three specializations to tailor your degree: Nursing Education; Nursing Management & Executive Leadership; and Clinical Nurse Leader.
SHU’s award-winning program is designed for you to finish your coursework at your own speed – from two years to six – to align with your schedule and provide the best balance for your life.
Curriculum: No Residency Required
In the MSN curriculum’s five core courses, you will explore topics such as health care policy and ethics, the principles of health care research, evidence-based practice, health care technology, and the underlying theories of contemporary nursing.
Customize your degree with a specialization made up of 8 to 9 courses. Each specialization concludes with a practicum you can complete near you — or internationally through our global programs initiative.PREVIEW COURSES
Earning your MSN opens the door to a wide range of new opportunities, including educational, leadership and administrative positions.
Nurse practitioners earned a median annual wage of $123,780 in 2021, with top-paying employers including variety healthcare settings, including hospitals, physicians’ offices, and clinics.2
The average salary for Clinical Nurse Leaders is $101,431 in 2022.4 This role and estimated CNL salary requires the CNL certification from the AACN.
Overall, leading nursing positions are projected to grow 40 percent through 2031 — much faster than the average for all occupations.2
“Completing my MSN at SHU was a wonderful experience. Everyone I encountered was all very helpful and supportive, beginning with the admissions team, to tech support, to the professors. I couldn’t ask for a better learning experience and would recommend it to anyone looking to pursue their degree online.”
– Patricia F., Somerset, Mass., Master of Science in Nursing
Graduate Student Learning Outcomes
At the end of the program, the student will be able to:
- Translate into action knowledge from the philosophical and theoretical traditions of nursing science and other disciplinary perspectives to facilitate the ethical integration of evidence-based practice to advance nursing scholarship.
- Lead collaboratively within the interprofessional team to develop and evaluate plans of care with evidence-based, person-centered care principles promoting quality and safety outcomes.
- Collaborate with strategic partners to implement health policy while advocating for equitable and sustainable population health care.
- Integrate complex systems-based practice to develop innovative and evidence supported equitable solutions to improve health outcomes across the lifespan of diverse populations.
- Apply best practices of informatics and communication technologies in diverse care settings to collect, analyze, and synthesize data to promote quality and safe health care outcomes.
- Demonstrate professional behaviors reflecting current regulations, policies, and practice integrating professional concepts including ethics, compassion, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- Model leadership within the nursing profession that embraces self-care, a spirit of inquiry, advocacy, change, mentorship, and service to others.
Find Your Nursing Specialty
Set yourself apart from other nurses with an MSN specialization. Whether you want to advance your bedside skills, educate the next generation or become a leader of other nurses, we have a specialization that suits you.
MSN: Nursing Education
Complement your clinical experience with teaching skills and learn to design curricula, evaluate your students and step into the role of instructor.
MSN: Nursing Management & Executive Leadership
Discover how to manage a budget, create and implement administrative processes, make certain your procedures meet professional and ethical standards, and more.
MSN: Clinical Nurse Leader
Advocate for superior patient care and lead a team of integrated health care professionals, including social workers, pharmacists, physicians and fellow nurses.
You may also be interested in our Family Nurse Practitioner program, which prepares you to provide primary care to all ages.
To apply to the Master of Science in Nursing, you need:
- Completed application
- Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0
- B.A. or B.S. Degree
- Unencumbered U.S. RN license in your home state and a copy of any other license
- Completed criminal background check
- Proof of individual and professional liability insurance coverage
- Statement of professional goals
- Two recommendation letters (one from a professional nursing peer, one from a supervisor in a recent healthcare position)
- Official transcripts of all prior nursing and academic work
- Prerequisite courses in statistics and health assessment
You can enter our MSN programs without GRE scores and transfer in up to 12 credits from master’s-level courses.APPLY NOW
This 36–39 credit hour program costs $695 per credit hour, for an estimated tuition of $25,020–$27,105.
That’s less than the average Master of Science in Nursing program3 and that’s why ours was ranked 2018’s No. 14 Best Value Online MSN Program by Value Colleges.
Affordability and transparency are priorities at SHU. We want you to have everything you need in order to make a decision about investing in a high-quality education.TUITION AND FEES
Faculty: Award-Winning, Doctor-Prepared Nurses
In the MSN program, you will work directly with our doctorally prepared faculty. They have years of experience in their nursing specialties, extensive scholarly credentials, and cutting-edge knowledge from the field.
These award-winning professors are available to support you as you take the next step in your nursing journey.
Accommodate your busy schedule and learn when and where it’s convenient for you. As an online student, you’ll work with the same accomplished faculty, receive one-on-one support and benefit from the same opportunities as our on-campus students.ONLINE AT SHU
At Sacred Heart University, we strive to keep our programs affordable and encourage you to explore all of your financial aid options, including federal aid, military benefits and available scholarships.FINANCIAL AID
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have a question we don’t cover here, request more information or call 877-791-7181.
You can take as long as six years to complete the program.
- Current, unencumbered RN license
- Bachelor’s degree in any field with a 3.0 GPA
- Official transcripts of all prior nursing and academic work
- Statement of professional goals: Why do you wish to pursue the MSN at SHU? Describe a significant accomplishment in your career or as a student that has prepared you to pursue graduate studies in nursing. In addition, please describe 2–3 professional goals.
- Two letters of recommendation (at least one from a direct supervisor): Must be from an employer, professor or a member of the medical/nursing profession and be written within the last two years.
- Proof of malpractice insurance ($1,000,000/$3,000,000)
- Prerequisite courses in statistics and health assessment.
- The Nursing Education specialization requires 180 clinical hours
- The Nursing Management and Executive Leadership specialization requires 120 clinical hours
- The Clinical Nurse Leader specialization requires 348 clinical hours
The online MSN starts classes every eight weeks, with six start dates per year in January, March, April, June, August and October.
- GetEducated.com. The 16 Best Affordable RN to MSN Online Programs. Best Buys: The 16 Most Affordable RN to MSN Online Programs (geteducated.com).
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2019 September 4). Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved October 1, 2019, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm#tab-1.
- GetEducated.com (n.d.). The 16 Best Affordable RN to MSN Online Programs. Retrieved October 1, 2019, from https://www.geteducated.com/online-college-ratings-and-rankings/best-rn-to-msn-online.
- Ziprecruiter.com (2022 November). Clinical Nurse Leader Salary. Retrieved November 10, 2022, from https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Clinical-Nurse-Leader-Salary-in-Chicago,IL#:~:text=As%20of%20Oct%2027%2C%202022,Chicago%20is%20%2495%2C739%20a%20year.